are church schools supposed to be political?

When I read this week’s East London Advertiser online, free of charge, very nice, thanks ELA, I noticed, to my amazement, that 2 local church schools refuse to publish their SATS tests for reasons of unfairness.

At least this is how I understand the absence of SATS results for St. John’s C.o.E school, Bethnal Green and St. Elizabeth Catholic Primary school (as well as many other religious schools). That is quite a shocker because normally churches distance themselves from worldly value statements in that religious and political values are seen as different matters, that do not necessarily complement each other.

I think those that trumped the unfairness of SATS results around are those left-wing teachers who think that way. Why on earth have those left-wing teachers managed to infiltrate 2 religious schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

In St. John’s C.o.E. we’ve seen a suspension of Homework, except reading, because teachers have enough to do already, at least so I understood a remark from a governor. In St. Elizabeth the new headteacher must support the non publication of SATS results.

Amazingly in the case of St. Elizabeth previous SATS results made the school famous and since then the school bloomed. We could see new extension built, playground equipment installed and the 2 former schools of St. John and St. Elizabeth Catholic schools amalgamated.

Also amazingly I found that a nearby non-religious comprehensive junior school, Bonner School, published the (joint) best SATS results in the  borough. This school has relatively little special needs pupils whilst St. Elizabeth publishes that over 1/3 of pupils have special needs.

For a parent that wishes to achieve the best possible grades for my child, I am puzzled as to choice. Wouldn’t most parents go for the best results school instinctively?

Being schooled in Germany I never knew schools refusing participation in the test for ability method. There all churches equally supported the Grammar school system, that excelled with regular test results. I therefore think that the anti-test-result phenomenon is particularly characteristic for the UK.  I just feel sad that some church schools fall for the left-wing propaganda that makes education a type of class-war method in that left-wing teachers try to tell us that poor people cannot achieve as much as rich ones. It is of course not true that only rich children can be good at school, see the brilliant example of Bonner School.

I think all parents have the right to know SATS results and schools should be obliged to publish those results because those tests are mere expressions of facts and not value statements for poverty or wealth.  It is kind of sad if church schools use religion as a ground to achieve badly in learning.  In that they only accept religious pupils but those religious pupils apparently are not good learners, at least that is what the policy seems to be about to me.

In the UK of course there are many church schools who  usually perform well in the school league tables. But why now accept the left-wing argument that performing well in education is no longer in fashion? Do church schools now want to advocate the philosophy that it doesn’t matter how well a school does as long as they pray well enough? Through history it was always the church that drove forward academic excellence and it shows a sad case scenario that many Tower Hamlets church schools of Catholic and Anglican denominations want to advocate Labour and left-wing politics rather than educate pupils with religious culture as admission criteria.

That teachers refuse to give pupils homework because they feel overworked and underpaid is a novel situation at St. John’s C.o.E. school, that hopefully is not being copied throughout the UK or all our pupils are going to miss out.  Children should never have to suffer from left-wing ideologies.

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